UC San Diego Ranks First in the Nation for Commitment to Service by Washington Monthly

By Christine Clark, University Communications

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As the University of California, San Diego celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the university’s legacy of community service has been recognized by Washington Monthly as the top college in the nation, according to new rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country.” The publication announced in its September “College Guide” that UC San Diego is ranked first in the nation for service.

Washington Monthly notes “public institutions that serve a diverse population of students fare much better by our measures. Thirteen of our 20 highest-ranked universities are taxpayer supported, including the top-ranked University of California, San Diego.”

UC San Diego was honored by Washington Monthly for its cutting-edge research that drives economic growth, provides upward mobility to people from low-income communities and molds the characters of tomorrow’s leaders.

�It’s an honor for our university’s dedication to service to be recognized,� said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. �UC San Diego strongly upholds our commitment to community engagement and public service as we move forward to advance the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world.�

UC San Diego was recognized as the top university by Washington Monthly based on three criteria: social mobility, research and service — which includes how many students participate in the Peace Corps. UC San Diego and the Peace Corps, both turning 50 this year, have partnered to bring 630 UC San Diego alumni overseas as volunteers. Currently, 46 alumni serve in the Peace Corps, playing a vital role in solving real-world problems and improving the lives of people around the world through advanced health care, continuing education and public programs.

Giving back is a philosophy embraced in Fox’s Volunteer50: The Chancellor’s Call to Service, a key component of the university’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The initiative encourages the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends, to perform 50 hours of volunteer service during the 2010-2011 academic year. Fox has set a goal of reaching at least 50,000 cumulative volunteer hours during this milestone year.

The contributions of UC San Diego’s students to local, national and global communities range from poverty to homelessness and environmental justice. In 2009, UC San Diego had more than 500 student organizations — with nearly 14,000 students engaged in a form of community service.